Sustainability Forum: Leaky loos major factor in the fight against water wastage

Water wastage was high on the agenda at the Bathroom Manufacturers Association’s latest Sustainability Forum at kbb Birmingham.

Now in its third year, the forum discussed the industry’s biggest issues relating to sustainability and updated its members on the progress of environmental policies affecting the KBB sector. 

The forum was hosted by Tom Reynolds, CEO at the BMA, with a panel of industry experts that included Nathan MacLean (managing director, Virtual Worlds), Phil Lord (co-director, Used Kitchen Exchange), Andy Mclean (technical director, BMA), Ciara Jagger (communications manager, BMA), Nathan Richardson (head of strategy and policy, Waterwise), Justine Bullock (co-creator, The Tap End).

During the debate, the subject of  ‘leaky loos’ and how much they contribute to water wastage in the UK were highlighted as one of the biggest causes contributing to water wastage in the UK. 

Nathan Richardson, head of strategy and policy at the independent, not-for-profit NGO Waterwise explained: “The latest estimates are that in England we have a water deficit of four billion litres a day. So, it’s a huge shortfall. If we want to secure water supplies and healthy environment, we need address that deficit. There are five regional plans across England of how this could happen. About 60% of the solution is down to reducing water demand.”

The number of leaky loos is a huge contributor to water demand. Richardson said: “Water demand has been going up over the last few years. 5%-8% of homes have a leaky loo and typically several hundred litres of water a day is lost, so when you add that up at a national level 400 million litres a day. If we could eradicate leaky loos, that’s about 10% of that deficit I mentioned before.”

Andy Mclean, BMA technical director, spoke of the collaborative action taken to address the issue. “Thames Water undertook replacing cistern fittings in tanks in the Thames Water area and obtained information and what was going wrong with product.

“BMA members wanted to get their hands on this information. There were conversations between the plumber involved in the project, the water company, and with our manufacturers. We then rolled that up into personalised information for each manufacturer so they could understand where the issues lie. All our members stepped up and looked at the problem closely.”

Other topics were discussed amongst the forum attendees, including ‘circulation’ and whether it’s time to ditch digital brochures.

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